Demonstrators protest against police brutality

Community Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The death of George Floyd while he was in police custody in Minneapolis prompted two weeks of marches, and some riots, around the country.
On June 7, demonstrators assembled along Northwest 154th Street at Northwest 79th Court in Miami Lakes.
Town residents and members of Miami Lakes United
Methodist Church were among the protestors.
Their signs carried messages such as “Sorry for the inconvenience, we are trying to change the world;” “Black Lives Matter;” “Equal means equal for all” and “Be part of the change.”
Caitlyn Alfonso, 23, of Miami Lakes, shown in photo at left, held a sign that listed names of people who died during encounters with police.
“It’s not fair what they’re doing to black folks,” Alfonso said. “They shouldn’t die just because of the color of their skin.”
Several Miami-Dade Police Officers wearing riot gear lined up patrol cars along the median and kept an eye on the group of about 100, as well as a handful of counter-protestors on the north side of the street. Their signs were about Jesus Christ, “Blue Lives Matter” and against Communism.

Miami-Dade Police
Maj. Javier Ruiz, who leads the agency’s district in Miami Lakes, said there were no arrests related to the protests.
During the week that followed, Congress drafted legislation to reform police practices; Miami-Dade Police announced that chokeholds would no longer be used against detainees, and Miami-Dade Commissioner Esteban Bovo, Jr. asked commissioners to consider a proposed law to prohibit Miami-Dade Police from hiring officers who have a history of using improper force.
Miami Lakes Mayor Manny Cid said in a Facebook video on June 11 that it was important to practice empathy toward others.
“We definitely need justice for George Floyd, for his memory and for his family,” Cid said.
“We gotta walk in other people’s shoes,” he said. “You gotta see through others’ eyes. ... Understanding is what it’s all about.”
--Linda Trischitta

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